Cagayan De Oro City

Cagayan de Oro’s epidemiologist wants ‘no vax, no entry’ rule back

Herbie Gomez
Cagayan de Oro’s epidemiologist wants ‘no vax, no entry’ rule back

CITY EPIDEMIOLOGIST. Cagayan de Oro's chief epidemiologist Teodulfo Joselito Retuya speaks during a city hall news briefing on the city's COVID-19 situation. Cagayan de Oro City Information Office

Cagayan de Oro City Information Office

Officials say Cagayan de Oro needs to adapt while the threat of COVID-19 still looms despite the city's significant progress in returning to normalcy

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Health officials in Cagayan de Oro have called on commercial establishments in the city to bring back the requirement for customers to present their COVID-19 vaccination cards before entry as a measure to enhance the city’s protection against the virus and reduce the number of infections in public places. 

Cagayan de Oro City Health Office epidemiologist Teodulfo Joselito Retuya Jr. noted a sustained decline in daily and weekly COVID-19 cases in the city, but stressed the need for minimum public health protocols to remain in place until all residents complete their primary vaccine and booster shots. 

Officials said Cagayan de Oro would need to continue to adapt while the threat of COVID-19 still looms.

Cagayan de Oro has made significant progress in returning to normalcy nearly three years into the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just like other places, the pandemic has had a significant impact on Cagayan de Oro, affecting nearly every aspect of life. 

But many of the city’s businesses have already reopened, providing jobs and income for the locals. 

While the pandemic’s impact is likely to be felt for years to come, city hall has continued to exert efforts to address the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Local health officials said they would meet with Cagayan de Oro business executives so that vaccination cards of people would be checked again before they are allowed entry.

In Cagayan de Oro’s public health facilities, people are required to wear face masks and present vaccination cards as well. 

Since January, the city’s COVID-19 cases have remained low, with only a handful of active cases, and the local government credited this to the cooperation of many residents.

Cagayan de Oro logged no new COVID-19 case as of Monday night, February 13, but it had one case on February 9. The city has also been registering daily single-digit number of cases since January, according to the City Information Office.

Retuya, however, cautioned that the data didn’t mean that the virus has been eradicated in the city or in the country as a whole. 

While the situation appears to be improving, he said, it would be important to remain vigilant and continue following minimum public health protocols to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Ina Grace Chiu, Cagayan de Oro’s immunization program coordinator, appealed to the unvaccinated or those who have yet to complete their full set of COVID-19 vaccine doses to get jabbed while supplies last. 

The country is set to receive an additional one million doses from the Covax facility in March, according to the health officials.

The impact of COVID-19 on Cagayan de Oro and the rest of Mindanao has been significant, with its regions still facing a range of challenges and issues related to the pandemic.

Like other parts of the country, Mindanao had experienced surges in COVID-19 cases since 2020, leading to lockdowns and strict quarantine measures. 

Health systems, especially in rural areas, have been strained by the pandemic, with shortages of hospital beds, medical equipment, and healthcare workers. 

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the economy of Mindanao, which is heavily dependent on agriculture and tourism. 

The closure of businesses and the decrease in tourism led to job losses, and a decline in income for many people. 

The pandemic has also disrupted education, with schools being closed for much of 2020 and 2021. 

The shift to online learning had been challenging for many students, particularly those in rural and remote areas where access to digital infrastructure and resources was limited. 

The prolonged school closures had raised concerns about the quality of education and the long-term effects on students’ learning and development.

The pandemic had also disrupted for two years cultural practices and events, such as festivals.

Cagayan de Oro was able to bounce back beginning last year, and resumed hosting cultural events such as the Higalaay Festival, a week-long celebration in honor of the city’s patron saint, which was held in August 2022. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.